U.S.A comeback in GREEN brief. Europe’s triumphal moment?
The United States made its big comeback on the green diplomacy stage last week by organising a virtual climate summit in Washington, after four years of Trumpism.
Doubling Barack Obama’s previous pledge to cut emissions by 26-28% by 2025, Joe Biden promulgate that the world’s largest economy will cut emissions by 50-52% by 2030 compared with 2005 levels.
After stepping into the green field after so many years, is this the good news for Europe. The quick answer is YES.
America’s return to the table means Europe is no longer isolated among Western powers when it comes to climate action on the global stage. the Commission said, calling for a joint EU-US “Trade and Climate initiative” within the World Trade Organisation, ‘ Europe and the US could work together for such measures and set a global standard. But while Europe has much to gain from closer cooperation with the US, it shouldn’t be naïve either.
According to a recent joint report by the European Patent Office and the International Energy Agency, Europe is currently a world leader on clean tech, with a 28% share of global low-carbon energy patents in the past decade, followed by Japan (25%), the US (20%), South Korea (10%) and China (8%).
Yet, when it comes to research and innovation, the US is capable of quickly surpassing the EU. One month ago, Biden unveiled a $2 trillion infrastructure plan that focuses chiefly on energy and climate technologies, like charging points for electric vehicles.
At first glance, the US plan roughly compares with the EU’s own €1.8 trillion budget and recovery plan, which has 37% earmarked for climate objectives.
With Biden in power, the prospects for EU-US cooperation on climate change have probably never looked as bright. But Europe should be aware: transatlantic relations are as much about cooperation as they are about competition. At the end of the day, the EU should remain focused on its own energy and climate agenda, regardless of what America does.